The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requested that the four mobile carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint implement changes that will allow consumers to text to 9-1-1. On May 15, 2014 the four carriers implemented the ability to provide text to 9-1-1 services; however, this technology is not currently available in Oregon.
If you send a text to 9-1-1 today, you’ll receive a ‘bounce back’ message from the cellular carrier indicating texting is not available and asking you to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
Emergency communications professionals recognize that the ability to text to 9-1-1 would be useful in some situations (such as providing additional accessibility to emergency services for our speech and hearing impaired communities). Currently 9-1-1 (Public Safety Answering Points) PSAPs and the State 9-1-1 program are planning the upgrade to Oregon’s 9-1-1 infrastructure to allow text to 9-1-1. When text to 9-1-1 becomes available in Oregon, it will be on a statewide basis.
For now, remember: It’s Voice Only, in Oregon